Kings Beer, the brand synonymous with trips to Goa, will now be available in Maharashtra and Karnataka, too. The brand has been acquired by Sachiin Joshi-led Viiking Ventures for Rs 90 crore from Impala Distillery and Brewery and will be rebranded Goa Kings.
The cost of acquisition includes the investment on expansion of the plant, as the beer can only be manufactured at the current location. Now that it will be available outside Goa as well, the output requirement will increase, hence the expansion.
With this, the company will have two beer brands in its portfolio – Goa Beer, the brand developed by Viiking Ventures, and Goa Kings, the acquired brand. “We will run the two brands separately. While Goa Kings will continue to be the mass brand, Goa Beer is the more premium brand. That way, we will be present at different niches within the beer segment,” says Joshi.
While its name will change from King’s Pilsner Beer to Goa Kings, the packaging will remain the same. However, the 330-ml pint of Kings is set to become dearer by almost 100 per cent with the proposed price at Rs 85 versus Rs 40-45 right now. Among other reasons, the hike is on account of excise duty, which will come in to play as the beer is distributed to places beyond its home state.
Apart from the Rs 90-crore that Viiking Ventures is shelling out on acquiring the brand and expanding the plant, it has also ear-marked Rs 100 crore on marketing over the next three years.
“The challenge (and hence cost) in marketing alcohol in India is huge. We will be looking at events and below-the-line associations,” notes Joshi.
“We want to be present in the alcohol space in a big way. Over the next five years, we have to have our brands in the market for not only beer, but vodka, whiskey and wine as well. We’ve already done a soft launch for our brand of pre-mixed vodka – Triple X and will be following that with the launch of a premium Vodka brand Trip. In case of wine and whiskey, I’m open to acquiring foreign boutique brands,” he adds.
Viiking Ventures has interests across sectors such as hospitality, media and entertainment, health and fitness, realty and aviation. In the beverages segment, it already has Goa Beer and an energy drink named XXX Energy Drink along with the XXX Vodka Mix, which is positioned in competition with Bacardi Breezer. It also has two brands of packaged drinking water – Life and Pani, the latter positioned in the high-end segment.